Would you do something? Yeah - so would I. And so will my friends at The Exodus Road, if they can raise the funds it takes. Want to know something? I think it's pretty amazing that we get to do our part. Like, as in, a gift.
Because sometimes when we look at this global, domestic, and local issue of commercially sexually exploited women and children/ human trafficking - well it seems too big. It feels too vast. It appears too much for anyone to make any difference at all.
I'm so glad about this, though - together, we can make change happen, one life at a time.
We're praying again today - for God's justice and grace to bleed over the injustice of modern-day slavery, and for the freedom of every soul to choose His hope. Praying for those who investigate, rescue, and restore these children's lives. Praying for these criminals to have to face the music and choose repentance while serving their sentence here on earth so they won't have to be serving an eternal one in hell. Praying for change, and the opportunity to take our own share of making it happen.
And, I'm here to tell you that God answers our prayers. If you've been wondering what you can do to stop human trafficking, I've got two great answers for you today. You can choose one or the other, but I REALLY hope you'll do both.
1. The undercover team working with partners at The Exodus Road (an NGO that empowers real rescues in SE Asia) needs about $35/night to conduct local investigations, and the blogging team I serve with wants to send these men out for an entire month, 30 nights. The funds will go to the travel, lodging, and investigative expenses. We will literally be "hiring" an investigator, on our behalf, to go look for children and to gather the evidence needed to put pedophiles behind bars. It's exactly what needs to be done - and now!
Would you join me? We have one week to raise the funds needed to send out to this trained team of operatives. I'm asking each of us to donate just $15 to this cause. And giving is as simple as pulling out your phone, literally.
With your smartphone, text the word "4thekids" to: 41444. You'll immediately receive a link. Follow the link and make a tax-free donation with your credit card.
If you'd rather give online [for those of us who don't have smartphones yet], you can donate here to give at The Exodus Road site. Write "bust pedophiles" in the comment section. And, as if that wasn't easy enough - I also have a button in my sidebar this week and with just a few clicks - you can make a difference in the life of a child facing the horror of being sexually exploited. It's up to us, and I know we can do this if we fight together.
2. You can prepare yourself to be a first responder to victims of trafficking right here on your own turf. Some people get mad because attention to this issue goes "over there" to aide the global/foreign facet of this fight, and not enough attention gets placed right here where it happens in our back yards. My solution is the same as it is with sharing the Gospel - here, there, and everywhere - we need to be aware, ready to fight, prayerfully battling in the spirit realm, and addressing each life as precious.
So be ready. If you suspected abuse, activities of pedophilia, or even a case of sexual exploitation, would you know how to report it? Would you know what to look for? I'm not asking everyone to morph into professional investigators here, but as we open our eyes to what is happening around the world, may we also open our eyes and our hands to what is happening in our own communities as well. I want to to know what to look for and what to do, so human trafficking doesn't slip by on my watch.
Would you join me?
Find out who in your area to call if you suspect anything. For me, I've got the numbers programmed into my phone so I can call at any time I have any reasonable evidence of child abuse. If you live in PA like me, you can call CHILDLINE at 800-932-0313 to report it. Go ahead, Click HERE and program the number for your state into your cell phone too.
Also, call your local police station and ask a hypothetical question. Say that you're learning more about the issues of pedophilia and sexual exploitation of children, and you want to know who to contact if you ever suspect anything. Depending on your area, they might give you the number to the FBI or another law agency who might have a human trafficking task force nearby. Also, I've included some phone numbers of some safe houses I could refer a victim to, if needed. They're all in my contact list. If I come across something suspicious around me, I know what to do, do you? Here are a few more links if you'd like to be even more prepared:
To Report Child Pornography [from the USDOJ website]
- To report an incident involving the production, possession, distribution, or receipt of child pornography, file a report on the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC)'s website at www.cybertipline.com, or call 1-800-843-5678. Your report will be forwarded to a law enforcement agency for investigation and action.
- You may also wish to report the incident to federal, state, or local law enforcement personnel.
This is huge, friends, but my God is even bigger. Today - as we look, fight, give, and pray - may we remember that He cares for these children too. Even more than our hearts ever could. His hand is at work, and He lets us get our hands into the restorative work too. Thank you so much for fighting with me. I couldn't do it alone.
Praying today for justice and redemption.
"Now you should finish what you started. Let the eagerness you showed in the beginning be matched now by your giving. Give in proportion to what you have. Whatever you give is acceptable if you give it eagerly. And give according to what you have, not what you don’t have." - 2 Corinthians 8:11-12 (NLT)